Thursday, December 8, 2016

Party's over as judge orders Michigan recount halted


I told my readers at the end of Dueling rulings mean Michigan recount continues for now "All parties involved (pun intended) will be back in the same federal court that ordered the recount to begin on Monday to argue their cases.  Stay tuned."  That happened and WOOD-TV reported the result was Federal judge agrees to end Michigan recount after 3 days.

A federal judge who ordered Michigan to start a second look at presidential votes has dropped his decision, effectively ending the recount.
Well, phooey.  I was hoping to see it finished, although I worried that the party might end prematurely.  Still, it served its purpose, as the Detroit Free Press as reprinted in USA Today passed along the following from Jill Stein's campaign.
But attorneys for Stein argued the recount must continue, stressing that thus far it has shown numerous voting problems across the state, particularly in Detroit, where more than half of the precincts' ballots cannot be recounted due to problems that have not been disclosed. They also argued that Stein is an aggrieved party if she participated in an election that was plagued with mistakes or fraud. And the voters of Michigan have a right to know that, too, they said.

"There is no way of knowing whether fraud occurred without conducting the recount," Stein's attorney, Hayley Horowitz, told Goldsmith during the hearing, arguing it is "way to early" to know if fraud was an issue.

After the hearing, Stein told the Detroit Free Press that so far, the recount appears to be exposing problems with Michigan's election process, particularly in low-income, minority communities.

"It is revealing some really troubling aspects of how elections are run here," Horowitz said of the recount. "We think that's part of the reason the recount should continue — to continue revealing those problems so that the people of Michigan can see how their election operates."
It also got some people's votes counted properly, as the Detroit Free Press reported in Clinton gains 65 votes in Ingham County recount.
Ingham County completed its presidential election recount Wednesday, with Hillary Clinton gaining a net increase of 65 votes over President-elect Donald Trump.

Clinton’s vote total increased by 138 in Ingham County, while Trump gained 73 more votes than were recorded on Election Night, according to the county’s recount report.

Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who requested Michigan’s statewide recount, lost two votes in Ingham County in the recount. Libertarian Gary Johnson gained two votes, according to the report.
Only 23 of 208 precincts in Ingham County were not recountable.  Meanwhile, Oakland County also finished its recount of Election Day ballots and was working its way through absentee ballots when the order to stop came down.  It found only 26 of 520 precincts not recountable.  Both of those are more acceptable than potentially one-third of Wayne County's precincts.  As I wrote, both Barb Byrum, Ingham County Clerk, and Lisa Brown, Oakland County Clerk, run tight ships, and I'd support either one for Secretary of State in 2018, especially over Janice Winfrey, the Detroit City Clerk, and Cathy M. Garrett, the Wayne County Clerk.

Since I started this week with a song, I'll end it with one, Peggy Lee - The Party's Over.

Regular programming resumes tomorrow.  I might have something on the Michigan Legislature's lame duck session, Al Gore meeting with Donald Trump about climate change, or I might start writing about entertainment awards early.  It depends on how I feel and what material is available.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dueling rulings mean Michigan recount continues for now

I concluded The party starts as Michigan recount begins as ordered with "As for the hearing in Lansing and the appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, stay tuned.  This party might end prematurely."  WXYZ has news on both court hearings in Dueling rulings confuse recount.

Dueling court rulings are confusing the current status of the Michigan presidential recount.
Mark Brewer is right, the federal courts have primacy over state courts, so the recount continues, as WOOD-TV reports in Presidential election recount underway in West Michigan.

Throughout the state, local clerks are keeping one eye on the recount and one eye on the courtroom.
All parties involved (pun intended) will be back in the same federal court that ordered the recount to begin on Monday to argue their cases.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The party starts as Michigan recount begins as ordered

Yesterday, I wrote "get this party started!"  It did, as Fox 47 in Lansing reported in Ingham County presidential recount is underway.

Ingham was the first county to start recounting presidential ballots on Monday, finishing the day with about a fourth of precincts counted.
Oakland County also started hand-counting ballots yesterday, which WXYZ mentioned in Presidential vote recount begins today in Wayne and Macomb counties.

That a third of precincts in Detroit may be ineligible for a recount is not good news for anyone having their hopes up that this recount will change the result of the election.  If anything, Trump's lead may increase because of it.  It also makes me even less enamored of both Janice Winfrey, the Detroit City Clerk, and Cathy M. Garrett, the Wayne County Clerk.  Neither one of them appears to be running a tight ship, or otherwise these kinds of irregularities would happen so frequently.  If either ever is up for nomination at a Michigan Democratic Convention for Secretary of State, I'm not voting for them and might just see if I could join a group to recruit another candidate.  Barb Byrum in Ingham County or Lisa Brown in Oakland County, the first two counties to participate in the recount, would be my choices.

As for the hearing in Lansing and the appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, stay tuned.  This party might end prematurely.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Federal judge orders Michigan recount to begin today

When I promised that I would return to reality today, I didn't expect this news on the Michigan recount happening over the weekend: Decision pending on Michigan election recount from WXYZ.

The result of that hearing was Judge orders immediate start of Michigan recount from the Detroit Free Press via USA Today.
A federal judge early Monday morning ordered a recount of Michigan's presidential ballots to begin at noon on Monday, and for the state to "assemble necessary staff to work sufficient hours" to complete the recount by a Dec. 13 federal deadline.

Lawyers for Green Party candidate Jill Stein urged the action in an emergency request, and U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith held a rare Sunday hearing in federal court. It lasted three hours, and Goldsmith issued a written opinion just after midnight Monday morning.

Goldsmith said a state law requiring a two-business-day waiting period to start the recount probably violates voting rights. Stein has shown "a credible threat that the recount, if delayed, would not be completed" by Dec. 13 — the federal "safe harbor" deadline to guarantee Michigan's electoral votes are counted when the electoral college meets Dec. 19.

"With the perceived integrity of the presidential election as it was conducted in Michigan at stake, concerns with cost pale in comparison," Goldsmith said in his opinion.

In ordering the recount to begin at noon Monday, rather than Wednesday morning under the two-day waiting period the state planned to observe, Goldsmith ordered the recount, once started, "must continue until further order of this court."
I have two reactions to this news.  First, it makes me more optimistic that Stein moving her legal efforts in the Pennsylvania recount to federal court might work.  Newsy reports on this part of the story.

The campaign said the state court system is "ill-equipped to address this problem."
Second, I'd normally post Professor Farnsworth, but I think that would be premature.  Instead, I'm going to echo Dame Shirley Bassey covering Pink, "Get This Party Started!"

I'll keep my readers updated on the progress of the recounts.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Speculative fiction in the movies for 2016 at the Critics' Choice Awards

I made the aside that "the Critics' Choice Television Awards don't recognize speculative fiction shows separately from other scripted shows (the movie awards do, but that's a story for next time)" in the introduction to Speculative fiction on television for 2016 at the Critics' Choice Awards.  It's next time, so I'm starting today's entry about the Critics' Choice Movie Awards with the films nominated in the main speculative fiction category.
10 Cloverfield Lane
Doctor Strange
Don’t Breathe
Star Trek Beyond
The Witch
I'd say the favorite in this group is "Arrival."  Not only was it nominated in this category, it was nominated in nine others, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Amy Adams), Best Director (Denis Villeneuve), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Score (Jóhann Jóhannsson).  If a picture is nominated in a genre category and it's also the only also nominated for Best Picture, that's a clear sign the critics love it.  However, it probably won't win Best Picture, as it tied with "Moonlight" and has two nominations fewer than "La La Land."  One of those two, probably "Moonlight," will likely walk away with the trophy next Sunday.

As for the second most nominated movie in Sci-Fi/Horror, it was also the second most nominated movie in the next category.
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge
Jason Bourne
Yes, "Doctor Strange" received double nominations for Sci-Fi/Horror and Action.  It also earned consideration in four other categories, Best Actor In An Action Movie (Benedict Cumberbatch), Best Actress In An Action Movie (Tilda Swinton), Best Hair & Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.  While it may not be my favorite in this category (that's "Deadpool"), it's the superhero movie the critics most enjoyed.  Unfortunately, it won't be the nominee most likely to win.  That honor will probably go to "Hacksaw Ridge," which was nominated for seven awards including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Actor in an Action Movie for Andrew Garfield.  "Doctor Strange" and Benedict Cumberbach won't be able to beat that.

Speaking of "Deadpool," both the film and its star Ryan Reynolds were double nominated in both Action and Comedy for a total of four nominations.  Not even "Central Intelligence" and Dwayne Johnson could pull that feat off, earning one nomination each in Comedy.

Follow over the jump for more speculative fiction films among the Critics' Choice Awards nominees.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Speculative fiction on television for 2016 at the Critics' Choice Awards

I originally concluded Michigan recount still on as Trump fails to stop it while Schuette still trying with my plans to make the entire weekend about entertainment.
Enough reality for now--time for fantasy.  Stay tuned for two entries on the Critics' Choice Movie and Television Awards over the weekend.  I promise to return to reality on Monday.
Unlike Teen ChoiceAwards and the People's Choice Awards, the Critics' Choice Television Awards don't recognize speculative fiction shows separately from other scripted shows (the movie awards do, but that's a story for next time), instead considering them as either drama or comedy.  Usually, that means fewer of them are recognized and they have stiffer competition.  That written, this year's crop of speculative fiction shows did well with the critics, as evidenced by the drama nominees.
Better Call Saul – AMC
Game of Thrones – HBO
Mr. Robot – USA Network
Stranger Things – Netflix
The Crown – Netflix
This Is Us – NBC
Westworld – HBO
Three of the Premium Sci-Fi/Fantasy nominees from the People Choice Awards, "Game of Thrones," "Stranger Things," and "Westworld," showed up here, too.  So did the "sci-fi adjacent" "Mr. Robot, which was nominated for Favorite (Basic) Cable TV Drama at the People's Choice Awards.  All of those prove that quality shows can be popular and critics will recognize popular favorites.  All that would be needed to make me really happy would be if "Outlander" were included.  While the Showtime series didn't get recognized in this category, it did in the next two.  Follow over the jump.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Michigan recount still on as Trump fails to stop it while Schuette still trying

I promised to keep my readers updated on the Michigan recount yesterday.  I mentioned one development in the comments to The Michigan recount is on!
Trump and the Republican Party have objected. Let's see if they prevail, in which case my optimism was premature.
WXYZ had the first word on this part of the story in Trump objects to Michigan recount.

Donald Trump and the Michigan Republican Party have filed an objection to a recount of the Michigan vote.
That was yesterday.  The Detroit Free Press reported today Deadlock: Board vote means Michigan presidential recount may proceed.
Michigan's Board of State Canvassers deadlocked 2-2, along party lines, Friday, on President-elect Donald Trump's objection to Green Party candidate Jill Stein's request for a recount of all presidential ballots cast in Michigan.

State election officials said earlier that a tie vote would mean a hand recount of all of the roughly 4.8 million ballots would proceed. But lawyers for Trump have asked the board for a stay of its decision, and the board has not ruled on that request. The board was also still deliberating Friday on whether a hand recount should be conducted, as requested by Stein, or a machine recount, recommended by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, who said it would peed the process, save money, and reduce the chance for error.

A recount can't start until Tuesday at the earliest, and Friday's court challenge filed by Attorney General Bill Schuette puts even that start date in doubt.
Trump failed to stop the recount.  However, he's not alone.  In an earlier Detroit Free Press story on the Board of Canvassers meeting, the other part of the story intruded.
But the Michigan Board of State Canvassers declared a one-hour recess just as the 9:30 a.m. meeting began, as news broke that Attorney General Bill Schuette had filed a lawsuit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to halt the recount before it began. Shortly before 10:30 a.m., the board voted to go into closed session to consider the Schuette legal action.
Follow over the jump for that part of the story.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Michigan recount is on!

When "I promise[d] to return to reality after midnight" at the end of One last People's Choice nominees entry about songs in speculative fiction movies, I was hoping to post that Jill Stein had indeed filed for a recount in Michigan yesterday.  I got my wish, as WOOD-TV reported last night Jill Stein officially requests presidential vote recount in Michigan.

The first statewide recount Michigan has had to complete in 60 years could begin as early as Friday.
WXYZ has more on the Stein campaign's rationale along with quotes from the press conference in Michigan recount to get underway

Michigan will soon be recounting the presidential election.
It's on!  As the WOOD-TV reporter noted, all three states would have to flip to Clinton to change the outcome, which is exceedingly unlikely.  However, it's worth doing just as an audit of the election.

Follow over the jump for more details in reports from Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One last People's Choice nominees entry about songs in speculative fiction movies

"Stay tuned for the last entry of the month" was my message to conclude Speculative fiction in movies at the People's Choice Awards 2017.  I expected to return to reality.  Instead, I find I'm too exhausted from this month's news to rouse myself from my "I can't be in an all DOOM all the time" mood, so I'm going to indulge my interest in music from visual media today.

I voted for all the categories in the People's Choice Awards last night.  Having written about television and movies made it easy for me to vote for my favorites.  However, I'm not as up on pop music as I used to be, except for those artists that have songs in my favorite movies.  No surprise, I voted for Adele whenever I could in part because of her singing the theme to "Skyfall."  I also voted for Rihanna and Twenty One Pilots on the same basis, Rihanna because of her song in "Star Trek Beyond" and Twenty One Pilots because their song is my favorite in "Suicide Squad."  Here are those songs.

First, Sledgehammer (From The Motion Picture "Star Trek Beyond").

Next, Heathens (from Suicide Squad: The Album).

I fully expect one or both songs to be nominated at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards.  I wouldn't be surprised if other songs from "Suicide Squad" are also nominated.  The movie probably has the best compilation song soundtrack of any live-action movie this year.  May the music be at least as recognized as "Fifty Shades of Grey" was earlier this year.

That's it for this month.  I promise to return to reality after midnight.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Speculative fiction in movies at the People's Choice Awards 2017

I promised "movies tomorrow" at the end of Speculative fiction on television at the People's Choice Awards 2017, part 2.  It's time to deliver.

Wochit Entertainment sums up what a great year it's been for speculative fiction of two kinds in Superheroes Dominate Peoples Choice Awards.

The Peoples Choice Awards have announced their nominees for 2016's ceremony, and superheroes dominate the Favorite Movie category.  The Favorite Action Movie category is 100 percent superhero biased, with Batman v Superman, X-Men: Apocalypse and Suicide Squad nominated. In the Favorite Movie category are superpowered blockbusters Captain America: Civil War, Deadpool and Suicide Squad, as well as animated features Zootopia and Finding Dory.
Yes, it's been a great year for superheroes and animated films, at least at the box office.  According to Box Office Mojo, the nine top grossing films of the year so far are either animated (1, 3, 4, and 6 are "Finding Dory," "The Secret Life of Pets," "The Jungle Book," and "Zootopia") or superhero flicks (2, 5, and 7-9 are "Captain America: Civil War," "Deadpool," "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," "Suicide Squad," and "Doctor Strange").  One has to go all the way down to #10 to find a movie that is neither, "Jason Bourne," a spy thriller/action film.  It probably won't stay there, as I expect "Rogue One" will knock it out by the end of the year.  If so, that will mean that six out of the top ten will be Disney movies.  As I shared in By popular demand, 'Doctor Strange' tops the box office, it's already been a record year for Disney and it looks like the studio may set an all-time box office record.

Follow over the jump for all the movie nominees, along with my comments about them and their chances of winning.